(Youngstown, OH)-Diamond Sparkler, the only remaining manufacturer of sparklers in the United States, is celebrating 80 consecutive years of producing American made sparklers. The company started in 1922 as Acme Sparklers in Chicago. It was purchased in 1985 by Phantom Fireworks of Youngstown, Ohio where the plant operates under the name of Diamond Sparkler. Diamond Sparkler is the distributor of sparklers to Phantom Fireworks, a national chain of consumer fireworks stores, with American-made sparklers in various sizes and colors.
"I was only a boy when I started working at Acme Sparkler," said 80-year-old Larry Callen, son of the company's founder. "I can't tell you how pleased I am that these wonderful 4th of July products continue to be made with American pride."
The years of employing 150 American workers and producing as many as 1.5 million sparklers a day are long gone. Retailers have been able to import China-made sparklers at much lower wholesale prices for years. Compounding the problem has been the illegal dumping of foreign produced sparklers in America.
"Diamond Sparkler struggles each year to make a profit," said Bruce Zoldan, President of Phantom Fireworks. "But I just can't envision something as American as sparklers, with its association with the 4th of July, not being made in this country."
Diamond Sparkler, through Phantom Fireworks, can also be found in national retail store chains such as Kmart and Rite Aid. Diamond Sparklers are also purchased year-round though fireworks.com.
People primarily think of sparklers for the 4th of July but people buy them for birthdays, graduations, New Years and many other occasions.
"They're very big at weddings now," added Zoldan. "Martha Stewart's web site recommends fireworks.com as the place to find Diamond Sparklers when planning a wedding."
Of course, the 4th of July is the prime season for sparklers. This year Phantom Fireworks' Diamond Sparkler will sell over three million sparklers.
"You can't celebrate America's birthday without American sparklers," declared Callen.
BJ Alan Puts Sparkle on the Fourth
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Production is up more than 30% at the last sparkler manufacturing facility in the United States as demand for sparklers increases with the renewed spirit of patriotism resulting from terrorist threats that is being expressed in America.
The Diamond Sparkler Manufacturing Co. Inc. is owned by BJ Alan Fireworks Co., which sells its product under the brand name Phantom Fireworks. Diamond produces in excess of three million sparklers annually, according to John Reiss, Diamond plant manager.
"Orders are up, and as a result, we have increased our output over the last year and have been able to employ more people in our production facility," he reports.
Diamond was originally established in Chicago in 1922 as the Acme Sparkler Co. Purchased by BJ Alan owner and founder Bruce J. Zoldan in 1985, it was relocated to Youngstown and renamed Diamond.
"It's hard to believe there is only one company left in this country producing something so closely associated with America's Independence Day," Zoldan states. "People don't understand that if you are not using a Diamond sparkler, you are celebrating July 4 with foreign made products."
Phantom Fireworks sells some 6.6 million Diamond sparklers annually through its own retail showrooms and through national retail chain stores such as K-Mart, Rite Aid and Eckert's Drugs.
Recommending Diamond Sparklers for weddings
Your wedding is something you’ll certainly always remember, and it can be just as unforgettable for your guests. Perhaps a song played during the reception will trigger a memory, or the mention of the area where the wedding was held. But the small keepsakes a bride and groom give the guests to commemorate the occasion can prove to be among the most long-lasting—and treasured—ways to spark a memory of the special day. Deputy weddings editor Rebecca Thuss has a number of ideas for wedding favors, each of which is inexpensive and appeals to one of the five senses: sound, taste, smell, touch, and sight.
Consider making a present of a small wind chime, a compact disc of music you’ve selected, a shell that the recipient can place against their ear to hear the “sea” roar, or something especially lighthearted like a kazoo wrapped in patterned paper. Although foodstuffs might not last as long as other favors, there are an assortment of boxes available that turn chocolate or lemon drops into memorable treats; you can also use decorative paper to enclose miniature candy apples or create a cone filled with cashews. Or you might consider purchasing a small jar of honey and attaching a small toy bee with a strand of wire wrapped around the jar’s neck.
Another idea is to give scented gifts, such as cedar sachets wrapped in cedar-veneer paper, small arrangements of fragrant flowers placed in a sake cup (remember to place a small piece of oasis into the cup first), fabric rose petals lightly spritzed with perfume and nestled in a pyramid box, a small bundle of cinnamon sticks, or a miniature scented candle placed in an attractive box. A few ideas for things that are pleasant to the touch include a lamb’s ear plant, a felt bag, or a small flax or lavender-filled eye pillow. Finally, an eye-catching selection of gifts could include a customized jigsaw puzzle made from a rubber stamp, flip books, tops, miniature kaleidoscopes, and sparklers.
Youngstown, Ohio 44502
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American Made Sparklers.